Hakdamat Sefer HaZohar [Introduction of The Book of Zohar]
1) Rabbi Hizkiya began: “It is written, ‘As a rose among the thorns.’” What is a rose? It is the Assembly of Israel, meaning Malchut. There is a rose, and there is a rose. Just as a rose among the thorns is tinged with red and white, the Assembly of Israel contains Din [judgment] and Rachamim [mercy]. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, the Assembly of Israel consists of thirteen qualities of Rachamim, surrounding it on all sides.
In the verse, “In the beginning God created,” God, too, elicited thirteen words to surround the Assembly of Israel and to keep her: THE, HEAVEN, AND-THE, EARTH, AND-THE EARTH, WAS, EMPTY, AND-CHAOTIC, AND-THE DARKNESS, OVER, THE FACE, OF THE ABYSS, AND-THE SPIRIT, up to the words “Of God hovered” [In Hebrew, “and” is written in conjunction with the word following it, so it is regarded as one word].
Explanation: There are ten Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. However, essentially, they are only five: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut, since the Sefira [singular of Sefirot] Tifferet contains six Sefirot HGT NHY within it. They became five Partzufim [plural of Partzuf]: AA, AVI, and ZON. Keter is called Arich Anpin (AA); Hochma and Bina are called Aba ve [and] Ima (AVI), Tifferet and Malchut are called Zeir Anpin and Nukva (ZON).
The seven days of creation are the two Partzufim Zeir Anpin (ZA) and Nukva de [of] Atzilut. They contain seven Sefirot HGT NHY and Malchut. The writings of the act of creation explain how AVI, which are Hochma and Bina, emanated them from the beginning of their formation until the end of the Gadlut [adulthood, greatness], which is conducted in them over six thousand years.
Rabbi Hizkiya begins with the explanation of Nukva de ZA, explaining the order of her emanation from Ima, Bina, which is called Elokim. This is the meaning of Rabbi Hizkiya beginning with the explanation of the roses, which is the Nukva de ZA. At the time of Gadlut, the Nukva de ZA is called “the Assembly of Israel,” and this is why it says, “What is a rose? It is the Assembly of Israel.”
There are two states to that rose: 1) Katnut—the beginning of her formation, in which there is only the Sefira Keter in her, in which her light of Nefesh is clothed, and her bottom nine fall outside of Atzilut, in the world of Beria. 2) Gadlut—when her bottom nine rise from the world of Beria into the world of Atzilut and with them, she is built into a complete Partzuf with ten Sefirot.
At that time, she rises with ZA, her husband, to an equal level with AVI de Atzilut and they clothe them. Then ZA is called Ysrael [Israel], with the letters Li Rosh [I have a Rosh (head)], and the Nukva is called “the Assembly of Israel,” for she assembles within her all the lights of Israel, her husband, and gives them to the lower ones.
Katnut [infancy/smallness] is called “a rose among the thorns,” since her bottom nine were emptied from the light of Atzilut and remained as thorns. Gadlut is called plainly “a rose” or “the Assembly of Israel.” This is why it was said, “There is a rose, and there is a rose.”
The red color indicates that there is gripping to the outer ones there, for the Klipot to suckle from her. This is in Katnut, when her bottom nine are in Beria. There is also white in her Kli de Keter, where there is no gripping to the outer ones. It was said, “Just as a rose among the thorns is tinged with red and white, the Assembly of Israel contains Din and Rachamim.” This indicates that even in her Gadlut, called “the Assembly of Israel,” although at that time she rises and clothes the Bina, Din still remains in her because she needs the Masach that is set up in her for the Zivug de Hakaa, which strikes the upper light and reflects it back because of the Din in the Masach.
By that, it raises ten Sefirot of Ohr Hozer [reflected light], which is called the light of Din, and within them, it draws ten Sefirot de Ohr Yashar [direct light], called “light of Rachamim.” Hence, there are Din and Rachamim in the Assembly of Israel, as well, corresponding to the red and the white that the rose among the thorns has.
This is the sea that Solomon made, which stands on twelve oxen. This is so because her bottom nine that fell into Beria have been established there in twelve oxen, and the point of Keter that remained in Atzilut is the sea that stands atop them. All together, they are called “the thirteen petals of the rose.”
The Mochin de Gadlut de Nukva that contain illumination of Hochma extend from the thirteen names, called “the thirteen qualities of Rachamim.” This is why it was said, “The Assembly of Israel consists of thirteen qualities of Rachamim,” as well. The main thing that Rabbi Hizkiya comes to teach us in this comparison between the rose among the thorns and the Assembly of Israel is that everything that the Nukva has in her state of Gadlut must, correspondingly, have a preparation and qualification in the beginning of her formation, in the state of Katnut. This is why it was said that opposite the white and red in Katnut, Din and Rachamim come out in her in Gadlut, and opposite the thirteen petals in Katnut, thirteen qualities of Rachamim appear in her in Gadlut.
Elokim [God] in the Bible. “In the beginning God created” is the Bina that emanates to the Nukva de ZA. He elicited thirteen words: THE, HEAVEN, AND-THE, EARTH, AND-THE EARTH, WAS, EMPTY, AND-CHAOTIC, AND-THE-DARKNESS, OVER, THE-FACE, OF-THE-ABYSS, AND-THE-SPIRIT, up to the second Elokim [God]. These thirteen words imply to the same thirteen petals of the rose among the thorns, the sea that stands over the twelve oxen, which are preparation and qualification for the Assembly of Israel to receive the thirteen qualities of Rachamim.
It is written, “To surround the Assembly of Israel and to keep her.” This is because the thirteen qualities of Rachamim—the complete Mochin de Nukva—are regarded as surrounding and illuminating her on all sides from all around. Through them, she is kept from contact with the outer ones because as long as the great Mochin in illumination of Hochma from the thirteen qualities are not in her, there is suction for the outer ones in her.
2) Afterwards, the name Elokim is mentioned another time: “…of God hovers,” to elicit five hard leaves that surround the rose. These five leaves are called “salvations,” and they are five gates. This is why it is written, “I shall lift up the cup of salvation.” It is a cup of blessing. A cup of blessing must be over five fingers and not more, like the rose that sits on five hard leaves that correspond to the five fingers, and this rose is a cup of blessing.
There are five words from the second name Elokim to the third name Elokim: HOVERED, OVER, THE-FACE, OF-THE-WATERS, AND … SAID [in Hebrew Elokim comes after the “said”], corresponding to the five leaves. Henceforth, when it is said, “God … Let there be light,” it is the light that was created and concealed and was included in that covenant, which entered the rose and produced a seed in her. This is called “a fruit bearing tree” in which they sowed. And that seed is found in the very token of the covenant.
Explanation: Five hard leaves are the five Gevurot [plural of Gevura] de Nukva, which are ten Sefirot de Ohr Hozer that the Nukva raises through the Zivug de Hakaa with the upper light, called “a light of Din.” This is so because the ten Sefirot de Ohr Yashar are called five Hassadim HGT NH, and clothe the five Gevurot HGT NH de Ohr Hozer. Those five hard leaves are the power of Din in the Masach that detains the upper light from clothing from the Masach down. This is why now it is only called “five hard leaves,” since she is still unfit for Zivug on them. At the time of Gadlut, when a Masach comes in Zivug with the upper light, they are called five Gevurot.
These five hard leaves are five words that there are from the second Elokim to the third Elokim: HOVERED, OVER, THE-FACE, OF-THE-WATERS, AND … SAID. And why was it mentioned another time? It means that there is a new action here, and he says in order to bring these five hard leaves out of the Nukva, which are preparation for a Zivug during the Gadlut.
Ten Sefirot de Ohr Hozer are called five Gevurot HGT NH. They are not called KHB TM because they extend only light of Hassadim, hence the KHB declined from their degree and they are called HGT, and Tifferet and Malchut are called NH.
In Gadlut, when the five hard leaves became five Gevurot, they are considered five gates, open to receive the five Hassadim de Ohr Yashar. Also, they are called “salvations,” and then the Nukva is called “a cup of salvations” or “a cup of blessing,” since through them, the Nukva becomes a Kli that holds the blessing, five Hassadim.
The number of Sefirot is ten, and they are essentially five Behinot [discernments], or thirteen, like the thirteen qualities of Rachamim. Ten indicates the Sefira ZON, in which there is only light of Hassadim. Thirteen indicates the Mochin of illumination of Hochma, which is received to the ZON.
A cup of blessing indicates the extension of five Hassadim within her five Gevurot. It must be five fingers and not more, meaning only in the number ten, HGT NH and not more, with the exception of the number thirteen, since the Nukva is unfit to receive Hochma from thirteen except by clothing of Hochma in Hassadim. Hence, first there must be extension of a blessing, which are five Hassadim, specifically through the five fingers, which are five Gevurot, and then she can receive from thirteen, as well.
This means that it refers to the five fingers of the left hand, which are five Gevurot, since the five fingers of the right hand are five Hassadim. Thus, the cup of blessing must be raised with both hands, meaning with the five fingers of the left hand, as well, to indicate the intention of the five Gevurot. However, afterwards, in the beginning of the blessing, only the five fingers of the right hand should remain on the cup, to avoid awakening the gripping of the Sitra Achra, which suckles from the left.
The third Elokim in the verse, “Let there be light” is to emanate the Gadlut de Nukva, which is five Hassadim and the thirteen qualities of Rachamim, where the five Hassadim are five times “light” in the text: “Let there be light,” “And there was light,” “That the light was good,” “Between the light,” “The light, day.” The thirteen qualities of Rachamim are implied in the words, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day,” since one is thirteen and also thirteen in Gematria.
These five lights are the light that the Creator created on the first day. Adam was watching it from the end of the world to its end. When the Creator looked at the generation of the flood and the generation of Babylon and saw that their actions were corrupt, He stood and concealed it from them, as it is written, “Was … concealed and was included in that covenant,” meaning that it entered the rose. This means that those five Hassadim were first incorporated in Yesod de ZA and did not come directly from Bina, from Elokim, to the Nukva. And the covenant, Yesod de ZA, which entered the rose and gave them to her.
These five Hassadim that come out on the five Gevurot are called “seed.” The majority of the power of the Din and the Gevurot in the Masach, by whose power it strikes the upper light and repels it, is found only in Ateret Yesod de ZA, which it extended from Mazal ve Nakeh in the Dikna, while the Nukva receives only illumination and a branch from it. Hence, the heart of the Zivug on the Masach, which elevates the five Gevurot that extend and clothe the five Hassadim, which are five lights, is done in Yesod de ZA, and he is the one who gives them to the Nukva.
That seed, which are five Hassadim and five Gevurot, is present in the very token of the covenant, since in the sign of the covenant, which is Ateret Yesod de ZA, there is the actuality of the Gevurot that extend five Hassadim, which is called “seed.” However, the Yesod of the Nukva receives only the form of his Gevurot, hence the Yesod of the Nukva is called only by the name of the form of the covenant.
3) As the form of the covenant was sown in forty-two Zivugim from the seed, the engraved and explicit Name was sown in the forty-two letters of the act of creation.
Explanation: The name “forty-two letters” is simple HaVaYaH, HaVaYaH with filling, HaVaYaH with filling of filling, in which there are forty-two letters. That seed in the token of the token of the covenant—which are five Hassadim and five Gevurot—extends from the name “forty-two.”
This is why it was said that as the form of the covenant, Yesod de Nukva, was sown in forty-two Zivugim [plural of Zivug] from the seed of the token of the covenant, the engraved and explicit Name was sown in forty-two letters of the act of creation.
This is so because there are two Behinot in Nukva: 1) The construction of her Partzuf, which was built through the Bina, and 2) her mating with ZA, which is called “the Zivug.”
And as the form of the covenant, Yesod de Nukva, was sown in forty-two Zivugim from that seed of the token of the covenant, where the difference is in the Zivug, so you deduce in the order of the emanation of the construction of the Nukva, called “the act of creation,” through the Bina, who was in the name “forty-two,” as well. Also, there are two states in the construction of the Nukva: Katnut and Gadlut. The Katnut is called “engraving,” meaning engraving into a receptacle of the lights of the time of Gadlut. This is because all that is received by the Nukva at the time of Gadlut requires preparation and qualification for them from the days of Katnut. The Gadlut is called “the explicit Name” because all that is concealed during the Katnut is explained and becomes known during the Gadlut.
This is why it was said, “The engraved and explicit Name.” Nukva is called “a name.” “Engraved” means her Katnut; “Explicit” is her Gadlut; and they, too, were sown and built in forty-two letters, like the forty-two Zivugim in the Zivug in the token of the covenant. Also, the forty-two letters of the act of creation are the forty-two letters presented from Beresheet [In the beginning] through the Bet of Bohu [Tohu ve Bohu means “unformed and chaotic”].
The Rose (Mirrors of the Sulam [Ladder)
(A) The engraved and explicit Name was sown in forty-two letters of the act of creation. There are many numbers in the counting of the Sefirot.
1) The number ten: KHB, HGT, NHYM.
2) The number seven: HGT, NHYM.
3) The number six, called VAK: HGT, NHY.
4) The number five—five Hassadim or five Gevurot: HGT, NH.
5) The number thirteen: the thirteen qualities of Rachamim or upper KHB, HGT, and lower HGT and NHYM.
We must understand: It is said in Sefer Yetzira [The Book of Creation], “Ten and not nine; ten and not eleven.” Thus, we must neither subtract nor add to the number ten. Instead, we must know that the ten Sefirot KHB HGT NHYM are essentially only KHB TM, but the Sefira Tifferet contains six Sefirot HGT NHY within it, and thus we arrive at the number ten. However, all those six elements HGT NHY are but detailing of a single Sefira: Tifferet.
The reason why we only detail Tifferet and not GAR is not because of the merit of Tifferet, but because of her deficiency compared to GAR, since this detailing is the incorporation of five Sefirot in one another, in each of which are five Sefirot. It follows that there are five Sefirot KHB TM in Keter, five Sefirot KHB TM in Hochma, and five Sefirot KHB TM in Bina.
Thus, there should also be five Sefirot KHB TM in Tifferet. However, since the essence of Tifferet is only light of Hassadim and not Hochma, and it is necessary that the five Sefirot included in it are only five Hassadim, the names of the five Sefirot have therefore changed in it, since KHB descended in it into HGT, and TM descended in it into NH. Thus, the five Sefirot included in Tifferet are only called HGT NH. Also, a discernment that includes all five Hassadim was added to it, and it is called Yesod. Hence, there are six Sefirot in Tifferet: HGT NHY.
And why are the five Sefirot included in each of the KHB not counted in the number of the Sefirot, and only the elements of Tifferet are counted? It is so because the integration of the Sefirot in one another does not add to the number of the primary five Sefirot, rendering worthy of particular mention. But with the integration of the five Sefirot in Tifferet, the five Sefirot became new Behinot in it—five Hassadim—hence they are mentioned as five particular Behinot in the Sefirot and are included in the count of the Sefirot. Thus, Tifferet being counted as six Sefirot HGT NHY is because of its inferiority compared to GAR, as it is only light of Hassadim.
Also, in all the numbers in the count of Sefirot, it does not decrease from the number ten, which is essentially only five Sefirot. This is so because ten Sefirot means along with the six Sefirot detailed in Tifferet. And when we say “five Sefirot,” it means without the detailing of the VAK in Tifferet, and the count of VAK is five Sefirot included in Tifferet, with its Kolel [inclusive/ the one that includes], called Yesod. And the count of seven Sefirot is when we calculate Malchut along with Tifferet.
(B) Let us explain the number thirteen. This number first came out in the world of correction, in the establishment of the Partzuf. This is so because in each Partzuf in ABYA there are only three Kelim: Bina, ZA, and Malchut, and the Kelim Keter and Hochma are missing, and the lights of Keter and Hochma clothed within the Kli de Bina. However, in particular, each Sefira contains these three Kelim, even in Keter Hochma, having three Kelim Bina and ZON in Keter, Bina and ZON in Hochma, and Bina and ZON in Bina. Thus, the Kli of Keter and Hochma is missing in all the Sefirot, and Bina, ZA, and Nukva is present in all the Sefirot.
The three Kelim, Bina, ZA, and Malchut, divide into ten Sefirot, since each of them comprises three lines—right, left, and middle. The three lines in Bina became HBD; the three lines in ZA became HGT; the three lines in Malchut became NHY, and with the Malchut that contains them, they are ten Sefirot. Thus, each Partzuf has ten Sefirot HBD, HGT, NHYM.
Also, it is known that Rosh de AA de Atzilut has only two Sefirot KH, which are called Keter and Hochma Stimaa (Mocha Stimaa), whose Bina went out of Rosh de AA and became a Guf [body], VAK, lacking the Mochin de Rosh. This is the meaning of Aba taking Ima outside.
For this reason, Bina divided into GAR and ZAT. This is so because the flaw of lack of Mochin de Rosh does not blemish the GAR de Bina at all, since she is only light of Hassadim in her essence in the ten Sefirot de Ohr Yashar, and there is no difference in that light when it is in the Rosh or in the Guf, for it always illuminates equally. Hence, the exit of Bina outside the Rosh does not diminish her from GAR and from Mochin de Rosh. Thus, GAR de Bina were separated to be on their own and became the Partzufim of upper AVI, which are considered GAR although they stand from Peh de AA and below.
But ZAT de Bina—which are essentially Bina but from the Hitkalelut [mingling/incorporation] of ZON in Bina—need illumination of Hochma, as well, to impart to ZON. For this reason, they suffer from this flaw of Bina’s exit from Rosh AA, since by that, they became devoid of Hochma. Thus, they are regarded as VAK and Guf, lacking the Mochin de Rosh. And because of that flaw, they were separated from GAR de Bina and became a separate Partzuf, called YESHSUT.
It follows that the exit of Bina from Rosh de AA created two distinct Behinot in her: GAR and ZAT. As a result, three Sefirot were added to the Partzuf because now the three lines in GAR de Bina were considered HBD, the three lines in ZAT de Bina were considered upper HGT, the three lines in ZA were considered lower HGT, and the three lines in Malchut as NHY. And along with the Malchut that includes them, they are thirteen Sefirot. Thus, the exit of Bina from the Rosh causes the number thirteen Sefirot in the Partzuf, since double HGT were made in the Partzuf.
However, this is not permanent, since by raising MAN from the lower ones, illumination from AB SAG de AK is extended, and this illumination brings the Bina back to Rosh de AA, and then the ZAT de Bina can receive Hochma from AA and impart upon the sons, to ZON.
It is considered that the exit of Bina from Rosh de AA in the beginning was essentially only in order to impart illumination of Hochma to ZON. Were it not for the exit, it would have been impossible to extend illumination of Hochma to ZON. Thus, these three Sefirot that were added by the exit of Bina are only preparation and qualification for extension of Mochin de Hochma to ZON, which are the seven days of creation. Thus, in every place, the number thirteen is regarded as extension of Hochma to ZON.
This explains the discernment of five Sefirot and thirteen Sefirot. Five Sefirot indicate that they have only illumination of Hochma, but thirteen indicates the extension of illumination of Hochma by the three Sefirot, upper HGT, which were added due to Bina’s exit.
(C) Now we will explain the name “forty-two” and forty-two Zivugim. Due to Bina’s exit, she divided into GAR and ZAT. GAR de Bina were established as Partzuf upper AVI, clothing AA from its Peh through the Chazeh, and the light in them is called “pure Avir [air].” ZAT de Bina were established as Partzuf YESHSUT, which clothes AA from Chazeh to Tabur, and the light in them is called “plain Avir.”
Avir means light of Ruach, meaning only light of Hassadim, without Hochma. For this reason, Bina is considered to have departed the Rosh de AA into Avir, since due to the exit outside of Rosh de AA, which is Hochma, there is only light of Hassadim in her, without Hochma, which is called Avir.
However, there is a difference between upper AVI and YESHSUT. Upper AVI are GAR de Bina; they are not flawed by their exit from the Hochma because their essence is Hassadim without Hochma. Thus, even while the lower ones raise MAN and Bina returns to Rosh de AA, even then upper AVI do not receive Hochma, but only YESHSUT, since GAR de Bina never change their nature, and are hence not flawed at all by the exit from the Rosh. They are regarded as though they never went out of Rosh de AA, and they are considered complete GAR. For this reason, they are regarded as pure Avir. Thus, they are also unknown Avir, which means that their Daat does not extend Hochma and their Avir does not become light, Hochma.
However, YESHSUT, ZAT de Bina, which need the light of Hochma in order to impart to ZON, are blemished by the exit from Rosh de AA because the absence of Hochma due to their being at the Guf de AA is sensed in them as actual deficiency. For this reason, their Avir is not considered “pure Avir,” but only “plain Avir” or Avir that is about to become known and to extend Hochma through the MAN, which is called Daat. This is so because while the lower ones raise MAN, Bina returns entirely to being Rosh de AA, and then YESHSUT receive Hochma from AA and impart upon ZON. Then it is considered that the Yod comes out of the Avir and becomes light, which is light of Hochma. Thus, Avir de YESHSUT is known, but upper AVI remain, as well, upon their return to Rosh de AA, as pure Avir, and the Yod does not come out of their Avir because they never change their ways. Hence, they are called “Avir that is not known.”
Also, there is Parsa inside the Mei [intestine] of AA, which was made in the place of Chazeh. This is the firmament that separates the upper water, Rosh de AA, from upper AVI that clothe him from the Peh to the Chazeh, since the Rosh de AA continues through there. Hence, the Parsa stands beneath them and divides between them and between YESHSUT and ZON, lower water, which are devoid of illumination of the Rosh de AA. This is why the lower waters cry, “We want to be before the King,” since they wish to rise and receive the illumination of Hochma from Rosh de AA.
(D) Two ways to explain the name “forty-two”: 1) The name “forty-two de Atzilut” is called “a name,” a real form, and all the names are imprinted from it. This is the four letters of the simple HaVaYaH and the ten letters of the filled HaVaYaH, and the twenty-eight letters of the filling of the filling, which together make up forty-two letters. 2) The name “forty-two” of the act of creation, which are the seven days of creation, ZON de Atzilut, having thirty-two Elokim and ten utterances, which add up to forty-two.
Explanation: The lights received above the Parsa, through the Yesodot [plural of Yesod] of upper AVI above the Chazeh, where the Rosh de AA, which is Keter, and upper AVI, which are HB, are called there “forty-two” of Atzilut, from which all the names of the forty-two are imprinted. Hence, they are implied in simple HaVaYaH, Keter, and HaVaYaH in filling, Hochma, and HaVaYaH in filling of filling, which is Bina. Thus, the pure Avir in AVI is the name “forty-two.”
However, ZON, which are the seven days of creation, cannot receive anything from the name “forty-two” because they are below the Parsa at the Chazeh de AA. They are the lower water, devoid of GAR, and receive from YESHSUT, whose Avir is not pure Avir. And they cannot receive from the upper AVI, which are the name “forty-two” because the Parsa separates between them.
However, when the lower ones raise MAN, and MAD is drawn from AB SAG de AK, this illumination brings Bina back to Rosh de AA, at which time YESHSUT receive illumination of Hochma and impart to ZON, and then ZON are as above the Parsa de Chazeh de AA, and they, too, receive pure Avir from upper AVI. Then, ZON, too, are discerned as the name “forty-two.”
For this reason, forty-two de ZON in thirty-two Elokim and ten utterances is implied there, which make up forty-two, together, in Gematria. This is so because the thirty-two Elokim is YESHSUT, when they rise to the Rosh, receiving illumination of Hochma from the thirty-two paths of Hochma, since the thirty-two paths of Hochma make thirty-two names of Elokim in YESHSUT, which are thirty-two times the name Elokim mentioned in the act of creation, and ten utterances are five Hassadim. However, when ZON received the illumination of Hochma from the thirty-two Elokim, the five Hassadim that they receive, which come from upper AVI, are the pure Avir, which is the name “forty-two,” considered “upper water.” It follows that the five Hassadim from ZON did not become forty-two there before they received from the thirty-two Elokim, hence the implication that thirty-two Elokim with ten utterances together are forty-two in Gematria.
And as the form of the covenant was sown in forty-two Zivugim from the seed of Yesod de ZA, the engraved and explicit Name was sown in forty-two letters of the act of creation. This is because the five lights of the words “Let there be light” [written in five letters in Hebrew] are five Hassadim, where Yesod de ZA imparts upon the Nukva, and they are called “seed.”
That seed is the name “forty-two” because although they are five Hassadim, because there is illumination of Hochma within them from the thirty-two Elokim de YESHSUT, they are regarded as the name “forty-two.” It compares between the structure of Partzuf Nukva in the name “forty-two” and the seed of Yesod de ZA. However, the engraving of the name “forty-two” are forty-two letters from Beresheet [In the beginning] through the Bet in the word Bohu [Tohu ve Bohu means “unformed and chaotic”].
The Flower Buds
4) In the beginning, Rabbi Shimon started, “The flowers buds have appeared on the earth; the time for pruning has arrived, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” “The flower buds” are the act of creation. “Have appeared on the earth” on the third day, as it is written, “And the earth shall spring forth grass.” “The time for pruning has arrived” is the fourth day, in which there was the pruning of the tyrants. This is why it is written about it, “Let there be lights” without a Vav [in Hebrew], which is a curse. “And the voice of the turtledove” is the fifth day, of which it is written, “Let the waters swarm” to produce offspring. “Is heard” is the sixth day, of which it is written, “Let us make man,” who is destined to put doing before hearing. “In our land” is the Sabbath, which is like the land of life, the next world.
Explanation: The flower buds are the six days of the act of creation, VAK, HGT NHY de ZA, from which the ten Sefirot of Partzuf Nukva de ZA are built. This is so because the Nukva has nothing of her own and her whole construction is from what ZA gives her. He interprets how the Nukva is built from the VAK de ZA. He says, “Appeared on the earth,” on the third day, since the Nukva is called “earth.” The flower buds, Sefirot de ZA, were received and appeared in the Nukva, who is called “earth,” on the third day of the act of creation. This was on the third day, Tifferet, since first she was emanated in the two great lights, and then she was equal to Tifferet de ZA. It follows that she was emanated on the third day equally with Tifferet de ZA, who is called “the third day of the act of creation.”
Then they “Appeared on the earth,” since that state did not exist in Nukva, hence, they “Appeared on the earth,” meaning that they appeared so once.
Afterwards, “The time for pruning has arrived.” This is the fourth day, on which there was the pruning of the tyrants, since on the fourth day, the moon, Nukva de ZA, was diminished, as it was written that the moon complained and said, “Two kings cannot use the same crown.” And the Creator told her, “Go diminish yourself,” and then she descended into a point under Yesod de ZA, her bottom nine fell into Beria, and only her point of Keter remained in Atzilut, and she stood under the Yesod. And henceforth, she is built by NH de ZA.
This is called “Pruning of the tyrants,” since the diminution became a preparation and a receptacle for receiving Mochin de Haya, and these Mochin cut off all the Klipot that cling to the Nukva. Pruning means cutting off, and the tyrants are the external ones and the Klipot that surround the rose.
“The voice of the turtledove” is the fifth day. The turtledove is Netzah de ZA. The voice of the turtledove is Hod de ZA, who receives from Hod that is included in Netzah de ZA. For this reason, this reception is called “The voice of the turtledove.”
“Is heard” is the sixth day. The voice of the turtledove is received in the Nukva only through the sixth day, Yesod de ZA, which includes NH, and imparts them upon the Nukva. It is heard to the Nukva only on the sixth day. The rule is that the Nukva receives only from the middle line of ZA, which is Daat–Tifferet–Yesod, or from Daat, or from Tifferet, or from Yesod.
It was said, “Let us make man,” who is destined to put doing before hearing. Hearing is Bina, since seeing and hearing are HB. Doing is Malchut. In Tzimtzum Bet, the bottom Hey rose to NE, to associate her with Midat ha Rachamim [quality of mercy], upper Bina. Yet, Aba moved Ima outside, and Aba himself was established as male and female. This is so because Eynaim is Aba, and through the ascent of the bottom Hey to him, the Zivug of Rosh was established in the bottom Hey, who is called NE. And Ima, Bina, went because of that from Rosh to Guf. Thus, there are KH in Rosh de AA, and Bina went out to the Guf. It follows that “doing,” the bottom Hey, Malchut, comes before “hearing,” Bina, since Aba was established in the Nukva, who is called “I” and the Nukva became like Aba, the second Sefira after Keter.
From the ascent of Malchut to NE, she was mitigated there and became fit to rise and clothe upper AVI and receive Mochin de Haya, like upper Ima. This is the meaning of the moon being full. Hence, upon the giving of the Torah, Israel said first, “We shall do and we shall hear,” putting doing before hearing, and by that they were rewarded with the reception of the Torah, since doing, Malchut, rose and clothed upper AVI, and the Yovel, the fiftieth gate, appeared.
This is why the hearing was in the sixth day, since on it the correction of putting doing before hearing was done, as at the time of the giving of the Torah. For this reason, on the Sabbath of Beresheet, Malchut became “the land of the living,” upper Ima.
“In our land” is the Sabbath day, which is a sample of the land of the living. Upper Ima is called “the land of the living,” and through the giving of the sixth day, Nukva rose on the Sabbath day of the act of creation up to upper Ima, and Nukva, too, became like the land of the living, since the lower one that rises to the upper one becomes like it.
5) The flower buds are the patriarchs, who entered in thought and entered the next world, Bina, and were hidden there. From there, they came out in concealment and were hidden in the true prophets. Joseph was born and they hid in him. Joseph entered the holy land and erected them there, and then they appeared in the land and were revealed there.
When are they seen? They appear when the rainbow appears in the world. And at that time, the time of pruning has arrived, the time to cut off the wicked from the world. Why were they saved? It was because the flower buds appeared on the earth. Had they not appeared already, they would not have remained in the world, and the world would not have existed.
Explanation: The Zohar explains the attainment of Mochin de Haya de ZA itself. The flower buds relate to HGT de ZA, which are called “the patriarchs.” NHY de ZA are called “sons” and they are two Partzufim [plural of Partzuf] that divide on the Chazeh de ZA, since HGT are called “the great ZON,” and NHY are called “the small ZON.” Hence, The Zohar makes the precision of telling us that it is from the great ZA, and this is why it said, “patriarchs.”
They are called “flower buds,” which means plantings, since they grow like plantings. First, their measure was as that of NHY. Afterwards, in Yenika, they became HGT, then in the first Gadlut they became HBD of Neshama, and in the second Gadlut they became HBD de Haya.
When it is said that they entered in a thought, and entered the next world, Bina, it refers to the Ibur of ZA, since during his Ibur, he rises to AVI, who are called “thought” and “the next world.” Aba is called “thought” and Ima is called “the next world.” And there is the beginning of the construction of ZA in three within three, which means that HGT are clothed within NHY.
This is why it was said, “The plantings were as antenna of grasshoppers,” uprooting from there and planting elsewhere and raising. The plantings are the patriarchs, HGT from their root. Through their ascent to Ibur into HB, when he plants them elsewhere, they obtain there the mitigated Malchut, which is fit for Mochin at the time of Gadlut. By that, they grew slowly in Ibur, then through Yenika, then through the first Gadlut, and finally through the second Gadlut. From there, they came out in concealment, where once HGT received all the Mochin de Ibur, they are born and come out of AVI to their place below, and come out in concealment, since after their exit from AVI to their place, they still remained in concealment, in diminished light.
They “Were hidden in the true prophets” means that by obtaining Mochin de Yenika, the unique light was extended to NHY de ZA, the true prophets. Then HGT expanded for them out of NHY and he obtained VAK. This is why they are still hidden, for they are still in concealment of Mochin de Rosh and only have NR [Nefesh–Ruach]. This is why it was said that they were hidden in the true prophets.
They are NH that they obtained through the Yenika, but they were hidden in them because their light disappeared and is no longer revealed. You should know that there is always an inverse relation between Kelim and lights. This is so because in relation to the lights, the light of HGT, meaning Ruach, is obtained through Yenika. In relation to the Kelim, the Kelim of NH are obtained in Yenika, and the light of Nefesh that was in HGT descends in them. Similarly, in Mochin de Gadlut, in relation to the lights, it is considered that light of HBD is obtained, and in relation to the Kelim, it is considered that they obtained the Kli of Yesod de Gadlut.
“Joseph was born and they hid in him.” After the completion of the Mochin de Yenika, ZA rises for a second Ibur for Mochin of the first Gadlut. Through these Mochin, his HGT became HBD and Rosh, and the NHY that he acquired through the Yenika became HGT for him. Then, new NHY was born to him, and they are called “NHY of Mochin de Gadlut.” And those NHY are called Joseph, who is Yesod de Gadlut, which includes NH de Gadlut. This is why it was said, “Joseph was born,” meaning the Yesod de Gadlut.
“And they hid in him” means that HGT still does not have the complete lights of Gadlut and they are still in concealment. This is so because in the first Gadlut, he obtains only Mochin de Neshama, which are still regarded as Achoraim for ZA. This is why he says that they hid in him, since they are still concealed.
Joseph entered the holy land and established them there because after Mochin of the first Gadlut, ZA begins to receive Mochin of the second Gadlut, Mochin de Haya. At that time, the Nukva is cut off from him and is built as a whole Partzuf in Mochin de Haya. Then, the Nukva is called “the holy land” because the Mochin de Haya is called “holiness.”
Joseph, Yesod de Gadlut de ZA, entered the holy land, the Nukva, PBP [Panim be Panim, face-to-face] with ZA, at an equal level.
And he established them in the holy land, since Mochin de Haya, the light of Hochma, are drawn out only in a Zivug of ZON as one, and remain only with the Nukva because only by her are they drawn during the Zivug.
And he erected them in her house, since the value of ZA with respect to the Nukva is as the value of upper AVI with respect to YESHSUT. Hence, Mochin de Haya, light of Hochma, appears only in Nukva, which is considered YESHSUT.
Then they appeared on the earth and were revealed there. Now they have become sufficiently revealed in the quality of Gadlut, but until now, they were regarded as hidden and concealed.
When are they seen? The Zohar has already explained that they appear when Joseph entered the holy land, meaning at the time of the Zivug, and the place of disclosure is in the Nukva. Thus, why is he asking again, “When are they seen”? The thing is that even during the Zivug there are two discernments: Hitkalelut [incorporation/integration/mingling] of the left in the right, the five Hassadim in the male, and Hitkalelut of the right in the left, the five Gevurot in the Nukva.
This is why he asks, “When are they seen,” during the Hitkalelut of the right in the left or during the Hitkalelut of the left in the right?
Answer: When the rainbow appears in the world. The rainbow is Yesod de ZA in the world, in Nukva. This is the Hitkalelut of the right in the left during the Zivug, as it is written, “I have set My bow in the cloud.” Only from that are the upper Mochin extended, as then they appear from the Hitkalelut of the right in the left.
And at that time, “The time for pruning has arrived,” a time to cut off the wicked from the world. When the wicked multiply in the world, there is much gripping to the Klipot and the Sitra Achra because of them, as was at the time of the generation of the flood, for which the whole universe was wiped out. At that time, the people in the world have no other hope but through the disclosure of the upper Mochin, Mochin de Haya.
And why were they saved? It is because the flower buds appeared. Why were the people of the world saved from extinction, as it happened at the time of the flood? It is because the flower buds appeared on the earth. This is so because disclosure of Mochin de Haya removes the Klipot from the land, Malchut, and they can no longer grip to it, as it is written, “And I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant.”
It was said, “But if they were not already seen, they would not remain in the world.” First, the Nukva is built with the two great lights, and she has an equal level with ZA. However, she stands at the back of ZA, which is why the moon complained that two kings cannot use the same crown.
For this reason, these Mochin are regarded as Mochin de Achor [posterior Mochin]. They are called Mochin de VAK de Nukva, which are Mochin of her Katnut from the beginning of her formation. And at that time, ZON is regarded as a “small Panim [face],” and they are called “children,” “youths,” and “youngsters.” However, once she is completed with these Mochin, she returns to upper AVI for a second Ibur, and then she is built as a great structure, with Mochin of PBP [face-to-face] with ZA. And then they are called “big Panim.”
It is known that there is no change or absence in the spiritual, and those Mochin de Achor, small Panim, remain in her even at the time of Mochin and Gadlut. Moreover, the reason for the extension of the Mochin de Haya is primarily in the Kelim de Mochin de Achor in the small Panim.
It was said, “And if they were not seen, they would not remain in the world.” In other words, if those flower buds had not been seen in the Nukva from her Katnut, in the construction of her Achoraim, the Mochin de Haya would not have remained in her during the Gadlut, as well, since she would have no Kelim in which to receive them.
6) And who is the one who sustains the world and causes the patriarchs to appear? It is the voice of the children who engage, and for these children of the world, the world is saved. It is in relation to them that it is written, “We will make for you turtledoves of gold.” These are the children, youths, and youngsters, as it is written, “You shall make two cherubim of gold.”
Explanation: The children of the world are Mochin de Achor, which is called “small Panim.” Also, the children of the world, as well as children, youths, and youngsters, and their Zivug in that state, are called “the voice of the children who engage in Torah. They are the turtledoves of gold, and they are the two cherubim, small Panim [face], without which these Mochin de Haya, which extend by the Hitkalelut of right in left, would not be received in the Nukva whatsoever.
And who is the one who sustains the world at the time of proliferation of the Klipot, who have the power to destroy the world as during the time of the flood? There is no hope except the drawing of Mochin de Haya in the rainbow. By that, the world will be saved. And who is the one who sustains and save the world at that time, and causes the patriarchs—who cause the disclosure of HGT in Mochin de Rosh, when HGT became HBD de Haya—to appear? The voice of the children who engage in Torah causes that, the Mochin de Achor, which is the voice of the children and the turtledoves of gold.